News / Asia

India's Bihar State Re-elects Reformist Chief Minister

Bihar state Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, center, displays the victory sign during a press conference after his National Democratic Alliance won the state elections, in Patna, India, Nov. 24, 2010. Kumar, the top elected official of one of India's poorest
Bihar state Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, center, displays the victory sign during a press conference after his National Democratic Alliance won the state elections, in Patna, India, Nov. 24, 2010. Kumar, the top elected official of one of India's poorest

In India, a leader of a regional party credited with focusing on bringing development to one of the country's poorest states has been re-elected. The results were a blow for the ruling Congress Party, which was trounced in the state.

As the governing coalition in Bihar led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar clocked up an impressive win, he called it a victory vote for progress and good governance. He said it is clear that Bihar's people want their state to be on the road to success.

Nitish Kumar belongs to the regional Janata Dal United Party and governs Bihar in alliance with the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party.   

During his five-year tenure, the reformist chief minister brought about significant improvements in a state which was one of India's most lawless, poor and underdeveloped. Economic growth during his rule was over 11 percent, higher than the national average. Roads and other infrastructure were built. Most importantly, law and order improved in a state where the high crime rate kept most people indoors after dark.     

Earlier this year, in a report, the World Bank said there were visible signs of a turnaround in the state following reforms which included higher public spending.

The election results are also a setback for caste-based politics which has dominated the state for years. Political analysts said the results showed that people had opted for leaders who will deliver better governance rather than vote along traditional caste lines.   

Bihar, with a population of over 80 million, is a key state for national parties. The election results also buoyed the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, which fared well.

But they were a disappointment for the Congress Party, which heads the federal coalition. The Congress Party has been trying to rebuild its base in the state, but only managed to win a handful of seats.

The leader of the Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi, admitted the party had not done well.

"The results, of course, indicate that our party has to start from scratch to rebuild itself [in Bihar] and that is what we plan to do," said Gandhi.     

The Congress Party has been reeling under a massive corruption scandal involving sale of telecom licenses. People have also been angered by persistently high inflation, which is hurting millions of poor people in the country.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More